Top Cheapest Car Insurance Companies - To help you get the best cheap auto insurance in California, our editorial team compares quotes in every zip code for the best auto insurance companies in California. We rank the best California companies based on customer service, convenience and availability of coverage. We also rate the best companies based on affordability for different drivers.
To find the cheapest companies, we average liability-only coverage, which meets California's minimum requirements of $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $30,000 per accident plus $5,000 in property damage coverage. Full coverage policy offers include more than the minimum state liability limits plus collision and comprehensive coverage.
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Geico has the cheapest auto insurance for most drivers in California. The company charges an average of $390 per year for a minimum liability policy. That's 35% cheaper than the national average.
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California drivers can also find affordable auto insurance from AAA Northern California (AAA NorCal) or Progressive. Both car insurance companies offer cheap rates that are significantly cheaper than average, and AAA has some of the best customer support scores in the nation.
AAA offers auto insurance to Northern California residents through AAA Northern California, also called AAA NorCal or CSAA, while the Auto Club of Southern California (AAA SoCal) covers Southern California drivers.
Mercury has the cheapest full coverage auto insurance in California at $1,731 per year. Geico and Progressive also offer deals for less than $2,000 a year.
The minimum auto insurance quote meets California's minimum legal requirements, which include $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $30,000 per accident and $5,000 in property damage coverage.
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Unlike full coverage, minimum coverage does not cover comprehensive and collision coverage, which protects you against damage to your vehicle after a collision, theft, vandalism or natural disaster — regardless of who is at fault.
Although full coverage costs more, buying a higher liability coverage limit and adding comprehensive and collision coverage is a good idea for most drivers and new car owners. This is also necessary if you have a loan or a rental car.
Just one accident and claim on your driving record can increase your auto insurance rate by hundreds of dollars. Drivers with incidents on their records, such as accidents, tickets and DUIs, often pay higher premiums than other drivers.
Mercury has the best rates on full coverage auto insurance for California speeding drivers.
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Mercury's full coverage policy averages $2,293 per year, which is 28% cheaper than the national average of $3,200 for ticketed drivers.
Drivers tend to pay more for car insurance after receiving a speeding ticket because they are statistically more likely to get into an accident. found that full coverage policies in California were $1,052 more per year ($88 more per month) after the ticket. That's an increase of 49%.
Mercury offers the cheapest insurance for California drivers with accidents on their driving record.
The company's median annual post-accident rate is $2,604 per year, or 40% less than the California average of $4,330.
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Drivers in California with a history of accidents typically pay 102% more for auto insurance than drivers without a history of accidents.
If you have a DUI in California, you can get a lot of auto insurance from Mercury. A typical rate of $2,867 per year is about half as expensive as the overall average price.
A DUI conviction usually means a significant increase in your auto insurance rate. The average cost of DUI insurance in California is $5,839 per year, a 172% jump compared to drivers with a clean record.
The cheapest auto insurance company for young drivers in California is Geico. Typical rates are $1,167 for minimum coverage 26% lower than average.
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For comprehensive coverage, State Farm is slightly cheaper than Geico, at $3,949 per year, compared to Geico's average rate of $4,306.
Young California drivers pay more than two and a half times more than older drivers for auto insurance. Insurers charge an 18-year-old driver an average of $1,577 a year, compared to just $604 for a 30-year-old, for a minimum coverage policy.
Although high rates for young drivers may discourage them from purchasing full coverage, consider the added value of full coverage. Additional collision protection and comprehensive insurance are especially useful for young drivers, who are more likely to have more accidents than more experienced drivers.
Geico prices average $1,312 per year for a minimum coverage policy, which is 38% cheaper than the California average of $2,107 for ticketed young drivers.
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Overall, rates for young drivers in California rose 34% after the ticket. That's an extra $44 a month.
Geico and Mercury offer the most affordable auto insurance coverage for young drivers in California after an accident. Both companies offer rates under $1,700 per year, much lower than the usual price of $2,305 per year.
Teenagers who pay more for car insurance after an accident due to a lack of driving experience are statistically more likely to be in another accident - about 46% more. However, because teenagers are more likely to crash than older drivers, the increase is relatively small. Older drivers in California typically pay 102% more after an accident.
The best rates for married drivers in California are from Progressive, which offers a typical rate of $1,448 per year, or 26% lower than the average of all insurance companies. Progressive also has the biggest discount for married drivers, 27%.
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The average rate California insurance companies charge married drivers is 9% lower than the rates they charge single drivers. Most insurance companies offer slightly lower rates for married drivers because there is a correlation between marriage and fewer accidents.
AAA is the best car insurance company in California because of its affordable rates and reliable coverage and support.
State Farm is another great candidate for good insurance. State Farm also offers a number of different types of coverage and is a great choice to combine with other types of insurance, such as home or renter's insurance.
The most expensive city in California for car insurance is Beverly Hills, which costs $3,474 a year. The least expensive city, Mount Shasta, has an average rate of $1,579 per year.
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The average cost of a full coverage auto insurance quote in California is $2,148 per year, or $179 per month. But the cost of car insurance varies depending on where you live. You may have a higher level of insurance if your area has a lot of car thefts, if the roads are not well maintained, or — as may be the case in Beverly Hills — the average car price is high. If all your neighbors drive Teslas, liability claims will be higher because the cost of repairing the vehicle is higher.
Although this is the lowest amount of insurance coverage you can have, we recommend that you adjust the coverage limit to suit your driving habits and personal financial situation. We recommend adding collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is worth more than a few thousand dollars. You may be required to have both if your car is loaned or rented.
On the other hand, if you are a student with an old car that you don't drive often, you may want to consider a lower liability limit.
If you own a home in one of the most expensive zip codes in California and have significant savings and investment accounts, we recommend that you increase your liability limit and consider adding roof coverage to protect your property.
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The California Legislature has proposed, but appears unlikely to pass, legislation that would increase the minimum amount of liability coverage required for drivers in the state to 30/60/15.
California's current minimum (15/30/5) is among the lowest in the nation - only three other states have the same or lower liability limits. The changes will catapult California into one of the most insured states in the country: Only eight states have high or higher requirements.
If the bill passes, drivers with minimum coverage will likely see their fares increase by the time they renew. Increasing your limit from the current to the proposed minimum will result in an average price increase of 16%, or $96 per year, if you have a clean driving record. But the increase may be different because the additional coverage will be distributed to each insured driver.
The bill passed through the state Senate and House committees. If the law is passed, the increase will take effect on January 1, 2025.
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The California Department of Insurance recently proposed regulations to reduce the impact of affinity group discounts on insurance rates. Policyholders in California and elsewhere can often get discounts for being part of an affinity group. Affinity group discounts may apply to the insured's employment — such as lawyers and teachers — or their membership in organized groups, such as alumni associations.
Among the largest affinity group discounts for some of the largest insurance companies in California, the biggest discounts are farmers, who discount policies by 14% for various professionals.
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